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Welcome to the St. Michael’s inner city health blog!

Toronto, August 9, 2013

By Jim O’Neill

Jim O’Neill
Jim O’Neill, executive director of community and health services partnerships and inner city health program director

St. Michael’s Hospital is many things: a level one trauma centre, a hub for world-class research, home to staggering innovations in patient care and an academic centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We are also an inner city hospital with very strong ties to our local neighbourhood.

Affectionately known as Toronto’s Urban Angel, St. Michael’s sees the full spectrum of Toronto’s downtown community: people with very low incomes and very high incomes, and everyone in between. Many of our patients are of different ethnicities and races, new to Canada, LGBQT, living with disability, of various faiths and from different parts of the world. Everyone is welcome here.

However our commitment to serving Toronto’s inner city goes beyond a welcoming attitude: it includes significant, sophisticated efforts to tailor our care so that it works for groups who tend to fall through the cracks in the health care system, including people with HIV and AIDS, people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, people with serious mental illness, women and children at risk, people with addictions, seniors in isolation and the Aboriginal community. This is inner city health care, and it’s at the heart of who we are as an organization.

Our hope is that this blog will be a place where St. Michael’s and other urban health and social service providers around the world can learn from each other and share their experiences and knowledge related to inner city health. We want this to be a place for dialogue and idea sharing about how to provide health care and related services that are as effective and patient-centred as possible for inner city groups.

Please join us, ask questions and share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and through guest posts. Just like the care we provide, St. Michael’s is committed to ensuring that the contents of this blog will reflect our deep respect – for our patients, our people and our friends around the world.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.